News | People | Community

People Spotlights are news stories centered on an INSTAAR member or group, rather than a science result or a community event. In many cases, the spotlight will focus on a person's latest award or special accomplishment.


Cassandra Brooks, in a warm puffy jacket, stands near the shore of cold ocean waters with glacier peaks behind

CU Boulder scientist shows expeditioners untamed Antarctica (Colorado Arts & Sciences Magazine)

Feb. 16, 2024

When she is in Antarctica, Cassandra Brooks (INSTAAR & ENVS) normally works to expand the frontiers of human knowledge. This month, she returned from a trip not focused on scientific research but on expanding the horizons of eco-tourists.

Peyton, a young Black woman wearing a t-shirt, shorts, and backpack, runs along the ridgeline of a mountain trail.

Scientist, Olympic hopeful runs with real purpose (Colorado Arts & Sciences Magazine)

Jan. 30, 2024

CU Boulder postdoctoral researcher Peyton Thomas, who fuses running with a commitment to environmental causes, to compete in U.S. Olympic women’s marathon trials in February.

Keith Musselman, in brick-colored hooded jacket, stands outside on an early fall day with yellowing leaves behind him

Research & Innovation Office announces 2024 Faculty Fellows class (RIO)

Dec. 19, 2023

Keith Musselman (INSTAAR & Geography) is one 16 CU Boulder faculty members selected by the Research and Innovation Office as their 2024 RIO Faculty Fellows cohort. The program supports faculty in achieving their research/innovation goals and promotes collaboration, all through tailored training, experiential learning and leadership development opportunities. Musselman and his cohort will kick off 2024 with an intensive three-day retreat in January, followed by several more focused retreats and a variety of informal networking activities.

Scott Taylor while giving his TED-style talk at the Boulder Dairy Center

Contemplating evolution: Why making spaces to be curious was important for this gay scientist (RIO community talk on YouTube)

Dec. 15, 2023

Scott Taylor (INSTAAR Fellow, EBIO Associate Professor, MRS Director) gave a short TED-style talk at the Boulder Dairy Arts Center on October 18, 2023 as part of the 2023 Faculty Fellows program for CU Boulder's Research & Innovation Office (RIO). In his talk, Scott tells the story of his personal journey to a deeper understanding of his work as a scientist and his own place in the world.

Katharine Suding

Katharine Suding recognized as Eminent Ecologist 2023 (Journal of Ecology)

Nov. 8, 2023

The Journal of Ecology has announced Katharine Suding as their Eminent Ecologist award recipient for 2023. Awards are given to those considered hugely influential within their fields of research and to have made outstanding contributions not just to Journal of Ecology, but to ecology in general. For the award, Suding assembled a virtual journal issue, wrote a blog post, and was interviewed.

Julia Moriarty

Julia Moriarty named a D.O.E. Early Career Research Program scientist (Colorado Arts & Sciences Magazine)

Sept. 29, 2023

Julia Moriarty (INSTAAR & ATOC) was named a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Early Career Researcher, receiving multiyear funding. The program helps support the next generation of U.S. STEM leaders. She will be working to improve predictability of water quality following floods in coastal urban systems.

Bundled up against the cold, Diane McKnight stands near Cotton Glacier.

Diane McKnight reflects on the LTER (LTER Network)

Sept. 28, 2023

Diane McKnight has been an integral figure in the Long-Term Ecological Research Program for decades. She was instrumental in launching the McMurdo LTER, spearheaded restructuring network coordination, and served as Chair of the LTER Network Executive Board. She’s mentored dozens of students and developed too many projects to count. The LTER Network Office sat down with Diane to chat about her life in the Network and her dreams for the LTER moving forward.

George Aiken in the field, wearing a big backpack for carrying tall tubes.

Aiken Graduate Fellowships awarded

Sept. 19, 2023

INSTAAR is pleased to announce four George R. Aiken Graduate Fellowships for 2023. CU Boulder graduate students Mackensie Bowen, Allison Cook, Tim Higgins, and Millie Spencer received the awards, which come with funding to support their research over the next year.

Portrait of Nikki Lovenduski

Lovenduski named interim director of INSTAAR

Sept. 1, 2023

CU Boulder has named Associate Professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Nikki Lovenduski interim director of Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR) effective August 28.

Albert Kettner

Albert Kettner steps into INSTAAR acting director role

July 18, 2023

Albert Kettner, associate research professor and associate director of INSTAAR, has stepped into the role of acting director of INSTAAR as of July 10.